What state are you in? This definitely varies state by state. No matter what the case, I would be extremely reluctant to try and circumvent what your comptroller has told you, especially on ambiguous definitions such as programming vs web design. Realistically, you should have some taxable and some exempt sales as you will most likely be performing both programming and design. The cleaner your records in showing how a customer was billed and exactly what they were billed for, the better off you are. The state is going to interpret in their favor if there is ever any question to what you are doing.